Glee remains one of the most romantically complicated shows in TV history. Every week, a new relationship would develop or an older one would end. Given the ebb and flow of the characters, it makes sense. It was the drama of high school couple with some high-intensity people. Passion flare and cool depending on the whims of characters ruled by hormones and a love of drama, all amped up to 11 because it's a Ryan Murphy show. Whether a relationship would last a couple episode or throughout the seasons, fans could never be sure. Some couples became end game, while others live to exist in fans' minds.
Glee was the show of a thousand couples, many of them with a dedicated fanbase. Some couples remain insanely popular, even with the show having been off the air for three years now. Others, however? Well, they didn’t age as well or weren’t popular to begin with. The fans made their feelings known either way.
In the end, the couplings were just as big of a draw to the show as the musical numbers. Who didn’t want to see the unpopular loser fall in love with the big man on campus? Or to see two young women stumble toward their own happy ending? Or even see a perpetually bullied young gay man get that high school sweetheart we all secretly dream of? It's time to look back during these chaotic romances.
Here are 12 Couples That Hurt Glee (And 13 That Saved It).
25 SAVED: Brittany Pierce/Sam Evans
Out of everyone in the show, Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet) probably went through the most relationships. More often than not, Sam definitely acted as a sweet boyfriend.
When he and Brittany (Heather Morris) developed feelings for each other in season four, it made sense. Both of them have perceptions surrounding their intelligence that they chafe at. During the course of season four, the pair grow closer as they try to find footing as the senior members of New Directions.
It doesn’t last long as they break up when Brittany goes to MIT at the end of the season. However, their relationship did provide a nice touchstone as the show got settled into season four.
24 HURT: Finn Hudson/Santana Lopez
Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) definitely had one of the rockier relationships throughout the series. Needless to say, the time the pair hooked up in “The Power of Madonna” definitely spelled disaster for years to come.
Santana would recall the encounter to make fun of Finn, who would accidentally contribute to her forced outing. It was toxic and malicious.
Honestly, the pair's intimate encounter in season one only seems to have compounded it. Still when Finn passed, Santana appears to feel genuinely bad about she treated him. That’s something.
23 SAVED: Marley Rose/Ryder Lynn
Before Melissa Benoist was Supergirl, she sang and dance as Marley Rose throughout Glee’s fourth and fifth seasons. During that time, Marley found herself in a love triangle with Ryder Lynn and Jake Puckerman. She went back and forth between the pair, then went neither with either of them.
The Marley and Ryder relationship bloomed into an off-screen romance between Jenner and Benoist.
They actually did do the on-screen couple thing in Supergirl’s first season. The pair were even married, though she filed for divorce in 2016.
Ryder and Marley’s all-too-brief relationship was too sweet to watch.
22 HURT: David Karofsky/Blaine Anderson
Some couples come utterly out of left field and just make no sense, to the detriment of the characters involved. The season six romance between David Karofsky (Max Adler) and Blaine Anderson was definitely one of them.
While it was great to see that Dave had recovered well after his attempt to claim his own life in season three, it just looks weird that he hooks up with Blaine.
Blaine, who showed no prior interest in Dave, dates Dave, who had a crush on Kurt.
Maybe if it was Kurt who Dave dated in season six then things would have made more sense.
21 SAVED: Dani/Santana Lopez
Season five had some truly excellent guest stars, such as Demi Lovato and Adam Lambert. Lovato’s character, Dani, is the one that we want to talk about here.
She and Santana had a very brief yet sweet relationship.
Something that Glee did well was allow its main characters to explore other relationships, even if they did end up with their "endgame" counterpart. At least, they had the chance to see who else was out there.
Dani was very much Miss Right Now for Santana, but in a good way. The two had fun together for a brief time.
20 HURT: Tina Cohen-Chang/Blaine Anderson
Sometimes, people have crushes on their bestie. This is just a fact of life. On Glee, however, the crushes swing from sweet to creepy fairly easily. Tina Cohen-Chang’s (Jenna Ushkowitz) crush on Blaine Anderson kind of ends up in the creepier category.
Poor Tina, nothing really seems to go her way on this show.
For the most part, it appears innocent: doodling in her notebook and checking out Blaine’s butt. She puts him on the spot asking him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Then she gets upset when he turns her down, even though she put him on the spot.
It’s the implication that she thinks that she can “turn” Blaine that makes this whole thing uncomfortable.
19 SAVED: Mercedes Jones/Sam Evans
Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) did not have many romances throughout the series. The major one that she had definitely was one of the sweetest in the entire show.
These two were revealed to be a secret romance toward the end of season two.
While they broke up when Sam had to move, he returned to her and wanted to fight for her. The passionate Sam definitely went to the ends of the Earth to win Mercedes’ heart, which worked.
If there was a couple that we would have liked to see endgame, then it was definitely Sam and Mercedes. They were so sweet together. They remained close after they broke up for the last time, when Mercedes moved to LA.
18 HURT: Terri Schuester/Will Schuester
Terri Schuester (Jessalyn Gilsig) and Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) were the definition of the nightmare high school romance.
Terri worked to undermine Will’s dreams and keep him in their marriage.
Will had an emotional affair with his colleague Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays). It was honestly a mess.
Then Terri faked a pregnancy in order to makeWill stay with her. She also made plans to buy Quinn Fabray’s (Dianna Agron) baby so that things seemed real. It definitely was the craziest plan in season one. It just shows how toxic they were together.
17 SAVED: Mike Chang/Tina Cohen-Chang
Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr) definitely had the best dance moves in New Directions. He also, apparently, had some moves for the lovely Tina Cohen-Chang.
Throughout seasons two and three of the series, the pair were a dedicated couple. Unfortunately, they were relegated to a lot of background scenes. Still, having a steady and dedicated couple was like an oasis from the continuous break-ups and make-ups of the rest of New Directions.
Eventually, the duo broke up when Mike went to college. They remained that way throughout the series, though they did appear friendly.
16 HURT: Brittany Pierce/Artie Abrams
Another couple that just came right out of nowhere, no one really seemed to know what to do with Artie/Brittany once they were together. To be fair, a lot of Glee couples were relegated to the background during the series run.
Brittany and Artie, however, did not have many storylines focused on them or even songs. Instead, there was a weird story where Brittany thought she was pregnant because a stork was building a nest outside her window.
When the duo broke-up over Artie calling Brittany “stupid," it definitely was a bit of a relief.
They could finally have more interesting storylines.
15 SAVED: Burt Hummel/Carole Hudson-Hummel
One of the sweetest relationships in the show was the romance between Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley) and Carole Hudson (Romy Rosemont). It was a second-chance for both of them, and the two fell for each other hard and fast. Their wedding in season two was definitely a highlight.
Over the years, the two remained the best parental units in Glee. Tough but loving, they wanted the best for their boys.
Even though they lost one of their children, they were able to find joy again. To see that they could still be happy was a highlight of season six’s “A Wedding”.
14 HURT: Quinn Fabray/Finn Hudson
Sometimes former couples on Glee would reunite, whether or not it entirely makes sense. After breaking up with Sam and Rachel respectively, Quinn and Finn found themselves as a couple again in the back half of season two.
Finn seemed to have forgotten that Quinn lied and cheated on him previously in the first season, leading to her pregnancy. Also they just did not seem happy as a couple during that time. They were only together for the status.
Reuniting as a couple made them look like they were taking one big step backward.
13 SAVED: Emma Pillsbury/Will Schuester
Emma and Will definitely were the endgame for the adults.
Their relationship was fairly fraught from the beginning. Emma running away at the wedding and Will adopting a playboy attitude after dumping Teri definitely were low points, but the pair always remained drawn to each other. They fact that they always cared for each other, even when they were upset, showed how deep their feelings went.
Their relationship definitely provided some sweetness to the series.
It also added some amazing musical sequences. Their happy ending made for the stuff of dreams: children, good careers, and a place together.
12 HURT: Artie Abrams/Tina Cohen-Chang
Sometimes couples that fans wants to get together don’t work when they actually get together. Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz are great friends and the chemistry translate well together onscreen. Yet Artie and Tina just didn’t really work as a couple once together.
There were some insecurities on both sides, but Artie was such a bad boyfriend.
He ignored her to focus on playing video games and definitely was sexist toward her. While these are tendencies he would eventually outgrow somewhat, it still was terrible that this couple fell apart. They definitely needed to stay friends.
11 SAVED: Kurt Hummel/Blaine Anderson
Kurt and Blaine had been a Glee power couple since season two. While the pair were on and off throughout the seasons, they finally made the big commitment in season six.
The relationship allowed the LGBT fans who watched the series to see an openly gay couple experience all those high school firsts that many never got to have.
Criss and Colfer consistently had amazing chemistry with each other. Even when Kurt and Blaine were broken up, you still wanted to see them back together again.
10 HURT: Shelby Corcoran/Noah Puckerman
Over the course of the series, Noah “Puck” Puckerman (Mark Salling) dated a lot of women. His pool cleaning service was less about pools and more about servicing the lonely older women who owned them. In season three, Rachel’s birth mother Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel) returned with Puck and Quinn’s daughter Beth, who she adopted. The duo spent time with Shelby and Beth.
Somehow Puck and Shelby ended up together. Season three definitely was when Glee jumped the shark.
No one ever mentioned the relationship again, and we were fine with that.
9 SAVED: Finn Hudson/Rachel Berry
The original endgame for the series, Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn’s romance went through many ups and downs. Over the course of the first season, the two went through a big “will they or won’t they” that ended season one with Finn’s confession of love before Regionals.
The two broke up in season two. In season three, they almost got married. They broke up again in season four, but it appeared like they could get together again in the future. They were the endgame-- Ryan Murphy said that the final moments of the series would be about them.
But when Monteith passed, we lost someone truly special.
8 HURT: Adam Crawford/Kurt Hummel
During season four, Kurt and Blaine broke up following Blaine cheating on Kurt.
Kurt met a fellow NYADA student named Adam (Oliver Kieran-Jones), who ran a glee club there. They briefly dated throughout the fourth season.
It makes have a fun, flirty sort of thing for Kurt to have after ending a serious relationship. Yet, Adam did not have an interesting personality.
Honestly, it just made us wish that Adam Lambert’s character Elliott came in a season earlier. He and Kurt definitely had a lot more chemistry.
7 SAVED: Santana Lopez/Brittany Pierce
What originally was a one-line joke in season one turned into one of the best couples in the series. Santana and Brittany were best friends and, as it turns out, occasional friends with benefits.
In season two, Santana realized that she was a lesbian and loved Brittany. The two got back together in season three but broke up again when they both realized that they wanted different things. Eventually, Santana and Brittany reunited and stayed together until they were married.
Rivera and Morris had a lovely amount of chemistry together over the series.
Brittany and Santana definitely seemed like a couple that would end up together one day.
6 HURT: Brody Weston/Rachel Berry
In season four, Rachel finally made it to New York City. Once there, she met the devastatingly handsome NYADA student, Brody Weston (Dean Geyer) when he overheard her singing in the showers.
The handsome and ambitious Brody and Rachel struck up a flirtation which blossomed into a relationship.
Then things got uncomfortable. They moved too fast when Brody moved in with Rachel and Kurt.
The pair just never fit right together.
Geyer had insane chemistry with Kate Hudson, but he and Michele just never quite clicked.
5 SAVED: Spencer Porter/Alistair
Glee’s sixth season was really meant to be the farewell tour for the longest serving cast members of the series. Even though it largely accomplished that, some of the members of New Directions 3.0 still won our hearts.
Spencer Porter (Marshall Williams), the openly gay jock, definitely had a lot of cockiness and a brusque personality. Still, watching him swoon over a boy he likes was totally adorable.
Not only did Spencer win Alistair’s (Finneas O’Connell) heart, but by going for him, it shows how much William McKinley changed over the years.
When Blaine (Darren Criss) visited Kurt (Chris Colfer) in season two, Kurt was threatened. Spencer freely going after his crush definitely signaled a change.
4 HURT: Ryder Lynn/Unique Adams
Technically, these two weren’t a couple in series. They did, however, have a relationship.
Unique (Alex Newell) catfished Ryder (Blake Jenner), using a picture of another girl to accomplish it. It trying to figure out who Katie was definitely drove Ryder up the wall, even leading to a violent outburst in season four’s “All or Nothing”. Unique eventually came forward as the catfish.
The whole thing was a terrible situation for all involved.
Unique felt like she had no other way to be her authentic self and Ryder ended up hurt for it. It’s also a shame that this was the main relationship that a trans character had on the show.
3 SAVED: Mason McCarthy/Jane Hayward
The background relationships of Glee’s sixth season were very low-key and sweet.
Jane Hayward (Samantha Marie Ware) almost made history as the first female Warbler at Dalton Academy. Due to tradition, however, the group did not accept her. When she went to New Directions, she met Cheerio Mason McCarthy (Billy Lewis Jr.). During the course of the season, Mason and Jane had a sweet little flirtation going on.
Even though Mason’s twin sister Madison (Laura Dreyfuss) did not approve of the relationship at first, she eventually relented. In the series finale, Jane and Mason were quite cozy with each other.
2 HURT: Jake Puckerman/Bree
Glee is a series known for making a big impact in regard to its couples, but not all couples achieve it. For example: the brief time that Jake Puckerman (Jacob Artist) spent with mean girl Cheerio, Bree (Erinn Veronica Westbrook).
During season five, Jake was more concerned with keeping up a bad boy, ladies' man kind of persona. He and Bree enter a physical relationship and flirt on and off throughout the season.
Ultimately, they were a non-entity. The impact they had on the show was minimal at best-- it just felt like filler.
1 SAVED: Rachel Berry/Jesse St. James
With the tragic passing of Cory Monteith, the ending of Glee needed some rewriting.
It makes sense that if Finn could not be there, then it would be Jesse that Rachel ends up with.
Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele always had excellent chemistry together, even way back in season one. As both of their characters hit the highs and lows of their careers, they always seemed to find each other time and again.
Even though Groff could only be in two episodes in the sixth season, the chemistry was there. It showed that even though Rachel lost “her person," she could be happy again.
Who's your favorite couple on Glee? Let us know in the comments!